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8 ways to automate your email newsletters and drip campaigns

By Krystina Martinez · February 13, 2024
A man checks email on a tablet. An envelope icon shows 38 new messages.

While we like to think email is dead, in fact, email newsletters and drip campaigns are still an incredibly effective marketing tool. From highlighting sales to promoting products and providing useful content throughout the sales funnel, they're a great way to engage audiences and promote services. But there's a maintenance cost in doing them well. 

You might not have the resources to maintain your subscriber lists, for example, or experiment with segmentation. Fortunately, automation can easily help you bridge that gap. From automatically subscribing your leads to keeping your subscriber lists updated, here are a few ways to automate your email newsletters and drip campaigns.

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Table of contents

To get started with a Zap template—what we call our pre-made workflows—just click on the button. It only takes a few minutes to set up. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.

Add subscribers to your newsletters

While putting your newsletter sign-up form in a prominent place on your website is a good first step, there's more than one way to grow your subscriber base. 

For example, you can offer a checkbox in a form where you collect leads allowing people to opt in to your newsletter. Here's where the sneaky maintenance cost comes in: You often need to manually download a CSV file, filter for the people who opted in, and upload their email addresses to your email newsletter software. 

Instead, use a Zap to automatically add subscribers to your newsletters from other apps you use to collect contacts. Keep in mind that you can't automatically subscribe people to your newsletter without permission. 

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You can also add a filter, available on our paid plans, to only filter for people who want to subscribe to your newsletter. 

Automatically segment your subscribers

Segmenting your subscribers into different categories allows you to tailor and test messages based on their interests. For example, you might send a newsletter promoting upcoming webinars to subscribers who've previously attended an event you hosted. Or, you could send segmented follow-up resources based on people's answers to a quiz.

Instead of manually tagging subscribers or adding them to lists, you can try a Zap to automatically get the segmentation party started.  

Use AI with your email newsletters

Keeping your subscribers engaged means sending regular emails on a recurring basis. The hard part? Brainstorming themes and coming up with engaging content every week. 

If you ever struggle with content creation, you can use these Zaps to automatically write email content for you—based on topics you store in Google Sheets or blog posts you publish in WordPress. Once a new row is added, ChatGPT will draft the content for you, then create a campaign or email in your newsletter app. 

Repurpose campaigns into new content 

Repurposing content is a marketing trick that works. It can give new life to the email campaigns you've worked hard to create. For example, maybe you launched a drip campaign a year ago to help your customers get more out of a specific product feature. There are no rules against repromoting that campaign on social media or in a blog post.

These Zaps will automatically create new posts on social media or your website without the added burden. Of course, some content needs to be email-exclusive to give would-be subscribers an incentive, so you can limit cross-posting to the start of an email campaign if you'd like. 

Keep subscriber lists tidy

Another hidden maintenance cost? Keeping your subscription lists clean. Just like a shrub, you have to prune your subscriber lists regularly. A glut of bounced emails and unengaged subscribers can tank your metrics and give an inaccurate picture of performance. (Unless the percentage of unengaged subscribers point to a trend, then perhaps you want to re-evaluate your content!)

You can use a Zap to track email bounces, get alerts, or even automatically unsubscribe bounced emails.  

If you prefer tracking or getting alerts for bounced emails, you can use a digestavailable on our paid plans—to collect bounced emails and alert you at specified intervals. 

Back up your email lists 

You worked hard to build your email lists, so it's smart to back up everything in case some horrible meltdown occurs. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say most people aren't opposed to backing up information. It's just difficult to remember to do it until it's too late. 

If you want to back up your email lists automatically, you can use one of the Zaps below to back up your contacts to your favorite spreadsheet app. 

Automatically add new leads to the right email list

Leads are a key ingredient for business growth. From form submissions to events to ads—the options to source new leads are endless. But engaging them all via email after the fact can get complicated. 

For example, do you ever host an event or webinar? You can simplify the lead management process by automatically sending new leads sourced from an event sign-up to a specific list in your email marketing app. That way, your marketing doesn't end when the event is over. You can follow up and nurture event sign-ups through the rest of your lead lifecycle with ease.

Add subscribers to your CRM

Before you launch a targeted marketing campaign, you need to make sure your sales pipeline is ready. Is your sales team equipped to handle an influx of new leads? Or do they already have too much on their plate, causing leads to fall through the cracks?

Easily manage your sales pipeline by automatically updating subscriber or contact profiles. With an automated workflow, you can automatically create deals in your CRM when a subscriber takes specific actions from your emails. This allows your sales team to reach out to only the most qualified leads while minimizing manual tasks.

Take your newsletter automation to the next level

Don't let maintenance and upkeep tasks prevent you from going all in on an email marketing strategy. Automation, especially when used to fuel your newsletters, can be an extra assistant when you're limited on time and resources.

Related reading: 

This article was originally published in July 2021. It was most recently updated in February 2023 by Elena Alston.

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'